The India Watch

Prague Masters: Fourth Round Draws Featuring R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh, and Vidit Gujrathi

<p>On a dreary fourth-round day in the Prague Masters Chess competition, the Indian team consisting of R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh, and Vidit Gujrathi, played out draws.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-469446″ src=”” alt=” prague masters fourth round draws featuring r praggnanandhaa d gukesh and vidit gu” width=”929″ height=”619″ title=”Prague Masters: Fourth Round Draws Featuring R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh, and Vidit Gujrathi 3″ srcset=” 510w,×100.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 929px) 100vw, 929px” /></p>
<p>After two straight defeats, Praggnanandhaa needed to bounce back, and the Indian just put on a strong performance to seal a peace deal with local favorite Nguyen Thai Dai Van.</p>
<p>Gujrathi was unable to establish any ground against Mateusz Bartel of Poland, while Gukesh did not offer Uzbek Abdusattarov any opportunities and shared the point.</p>
<p>There were no close games played that day since the other two were likewise tied. Iranian Parham Maghsoodloo drew with top-seeded Czech David Navara, while Romania’s Richard Rapport also drew with German Vincent Keymer.</p>
<p>Thus, everyone headed half to their kitty, and the nighttime positions stayed the same.</p>
<p>Maghsoodloo and Abdusattarov are currently tied for the lead on three of the four potential points. With two and a half points each, Gukesh and Rapport share third place. With two points, Gujrathi is one-half point ahead of Praggnanandhaa, Navara, Dai Van, and Keymer in fourth place. Bartel stayed at the bottom of the tables, moving up to a whole point.</p>
<p>Praggnanandhaa was proficient in the Nimzo Indian and used it as a black move. Pieces in Dai Van’s Capablanca version only changed hands periodically.</p>
<p>The Indian averted the dangers with a well-timed pawn sacrifice, bringing the players to a theoretically drawn rook and pawn endgame. The players had reached a heavy endgame, with White having some advantage. 40 movements were used in the game.</p>
<p>Abdusattarov once again used his preferred Catalan opening, but Gukesh remained composed and in command the whole time. The Uzbek had benefited from a stroke of luck in the previous round when he defeated Navara, but he was denied a similar chance in the fourth round.</p>
<p>Early in the middle game, Gukesh attempted a theme center breakthrough and effectively built up his forces to force a few exchanges. The players achieved a perfectly level endgame with a queen and pawn, with no possibility of complications.</p>
<p>Gujrathi’s Scotch opening as White hinted at a difficult game, but Bartel was up to the challenge even though it seemed the Indian had the upper hand. For a small piece, Gujrathi gained a rook, but Black had enough counterplay. The outcome of the draw was fair.</p>
<p>Grandmaster R. Vaishali defeated Stepan Herbek of the Czech Republic to win the Challengers division for the second time in a row. Having lost the previous two rounds, Vaishali’s triumph took her back to fifty percent.</p>
<p>As Arjun Erigaise lost his match against Xiangzhi Bu in the second round of the Shenzen Masters in China, Viswanathan Anand once again took the top rank in India.</p>
<p><strong>Round 4 results (Indians unless otherwise noted):</strong></p>
<p>Vincent Keymer (Ger, 1.5) and Richard Rapport (Rou, 2.5) drew. Nodirbek Abdusattarov (Uzb, 3) drew with D Gukesh (2.5); Vidit Gujrathi (2) drew with Mateusz Bartel (Pol, 1); David Navara (Cze, 1.5) drew with Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 3); Nguyen Thai Dai Van (Cze, 1.5) drew with R Praggnanandhaa (1.5).</p>

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